Moving Forward

Story submitted by: Central San Gabriel Valley WorkSource Center

Workforce Challenge

A former inmate, "J" was released from federal prison in October, 2001. His felony conviction was a large barrier to employment, but one that could be overcome by focusing his job search efforts on positions and industries where it would not be as significant an impediment. He came to Central San Gabriel Valley Work Source Center for assistance.

Workforce Solution

With assistance from the case management staff, he found work by using the computers and fax machine to obtain retail sales positions in clothing and leather goods. When the store closed, he enrolled in training at the Monrovia Adult School. After completing coursework there, he again worked in the retail industry but maintained contact with his case manager at the WorkSource Center.

"I still remained in contact with Armando; he encouraged me to keep moving forward and keeps looking to improve my station in life. By again using the computers and fax machine at the Work Source Center I found another job with CSA Service as a Territory Manager in December 2006. The new position with CSA Services paid 20% more ($28K a year)." In February, 2008, CSA eliminated its Territory Manager positions as part of a downsizing. Once again, he used the computers and fax machine to search for a job.

Outcomes & Benefits

The job search through WorkSource paid off again, and "This time I hit the jackpot. I landed a job with Horizon Food Services for $39K a year!"

"I truly do not know what I would have done if the Work Source Center and Armando weren't there to help and encourage me. As a Federal convicted felon, where my past, outside of a presidential pardon, will never be removed from my record, the last 7 years have been an unbelievable challenge. But the help from bus tokens, clothes, gas and paying my tuition was what has seen me through." It is easy to see how the consistent availability of the WorkSource Center has helped this former inmate overcome his past and become a contributing member of society. Although the ultimate responsibility to turn his life around lies with "J", knowing that he had somewhere to turn when things were hard has made all the difference.

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